Vladimir Vysotsky. The Interrupted Flifht.

When it came to false names I had forty...Translated by Stas and Margaret Porokhnya.

When it came to false names I had forty,
Seven passports I kept on the go,
There were seventy women adored me,
And I also had two hundred foes.

But I’m not complaining!

Much as I always tried hard,
Much as I always aimed high,
There was always some diehard
Out to fight me who came by.

Though my road is protracted and twisted,
And I earned words of praise on the way,
My obituary still won’t be listed
In a small corner of the back page.

But I’m not complaining!

Much as I always tried hard,
Much as I always aimed high,
Some guy’d catch me off my guard
Each time I tried to stay dry.

Though I never once doubted that glory
Was our Soviet people’s true fate,
They’ll not put up a monument for me
In the square by the Petrovsky Gate.

But I’m not complaining!

Much as I always tried hard,
Much as I always aimed high,
I turned into a drunkard
And I fell by the wayside.

I sing songs about pickpockets’ lives with
All their tragedy, drama and farce,
And you’ll not see my name advertised with
Those of popular cabaret stars.

But I’m not complaining!

Much as I always aimed high,
Much as I always tried hard,
I’d get caught and I’d pay my
Dues with stretches behind bars.

People say I’ll get out of this pickle.
Give up drink? No, that can’t be my lot...
Still they’ll not take the hammer and sickle
Off our coins and put me in that spot.

But I’m not complaining!

So then why should I aim high,
So then why should I try hard?
I’m so muddled and will gain I
But with strong drinks the right path.

1963.

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